Financial Remedy Applications
Since April 2011 it has been a legal requirement (with some exceptions) that anybody wanting to go to court to resolve financial issues following divorce should first attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
For more information please read our introductory article, Mediation for Family Law Disputes.
Where mediation is unsuitable or unsuccessful
If mediation is deemed unsuitable or is unsuccessful, a party may apply to the court for a financial remedy. The court can make orders relating to the transfer or sale of property, payments of lump sums, pension sharing and maintenance.
When making the application, a court fee of £255 is incurred. Upon receipt, the court will produce a timetable. Both parties are required to exchange financial disclosure 12 weeks after the date of the application.
The First Direction’s Appointment, or Hearing
There will then be a First Direction’s Appointment/hearing which will take place approximately 16 weeks after the date of the application. This hearing is essentially a case management hearing which enables the court to ensure the matter is being progressed effectively.
The court issues directions, telling both parties what further information needs to be obtained and by what date. The matter will then be listed for a second hearing.
The Financial Dispute Resolution hearing
The second hearing is known as a Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearing.
This takes place approximately 2 to 3 months after the first hearing. The focus at the second hearing is upon negotiation and the court will try to assist, with the Judge giving an indication of the decision that he or she would make if they were presiding over the final hearing.
You then decide whether or not to settle based on the Judge’s comments.
Most cases settle at the FDR.
If you are unsuccessful then you will proceed to a final hearing. The Judge at FDR cannot preside over the final hearing. At the final hearing a Judge will hear evidence from both parties and any experts involved before making a decision and telling you how the matter is to be resolved.
You have lost control at this stage and have to abide by the Judges’ decision.
For this reason it is important that methods of non-court dispute resolution are considered and, where suitable, attempted. You might find our introductory article, Collaborative Law, A better way to resolve family disputes, interesting.
We can help
If you need any further information or advice, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our family law team who will be happy to help.
Mediation for family law disputes (Family Law)
Divorce and the Divorce Process (Family Law)
This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute technical, financial, legal advice or any other type of professional advice and is no substitute for specific advice based on your individual circumstances. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any actions taken based on the information in this article. For more information, please click here.